Australian actress Rebel Wilson’s record defamation payout has been slashed from £2.5 million to £340,000 after a court rejected a finding that she lost lucrative film roles due to articles which claimed she invented her backstory to “make it in Hollywood”.
The Court of Appeal in the state of Victoria dismissed a previous finding that Wilson, who appeared in the Pitch Perfect series and Bridesmaids, suffered from a “grapevine effect” in the film industry triggered by articles published in Bauer Media magazines in 2015.
The articles claimed Wilson, 38, lied about her name, age and being related to Walt Disney.
A judge granted her a record defamation damages amount last year after a jury concluded that the articles defamed her. The damages finding accepted her claim that the articles affected the trajectory of her career and cost her roles in the films Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls.
Dismissing this finding, the Court of Appeal ruled “there was no basis in the evidence for making any award of damages for economic loss”.
The case attracted international attention, not only because of Wilson’s fame but also due to her unusual antics during the three-week trial. At various times, she cracked jokes, rapped an Academy Award acceptance speech and broke down in tears.
Wilson, who is in Europe filming a movie called Jojo Rabbit, said before the latest finding that she was not concerned about the amount of the damages. She has promised to donate the payout to charity.
“What happens tomorrow is to do with the losers @bauermedia quibbling about how much they now have to pay me,” she said in a tweet to her 3 million followers.
“While this case was never about the money for me … I do hope to receive as much as possible to give away to charities and to support the Australian film industry.”
During the trial, Wilson said her agents had advised her to stop mentioning her age – which was reported to be 29 in 2015 – because “Hollywood is very ageist, especially towards women”. She said she subsequently had not tried to correct wrong information printed about herself.
Discussing the case earlier this year, Wilson said the magazines had launched a vicious campaign which derailed her career and had been “really, really hurtful and devastating”.
“I started wanting to be an actor when I was 18,” she told Channel Ten.
“I worked every single day of my adult life to make that dream come true…. Seventeen years later when I got to a really fantastic point … a group of women who I didn’t know, who had never met me, orchestrated this take-down and said everything about me in my life was fake.”
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/14/rebel-wilsons-record-defamation-payout-australia-slashed-millions/